RSMo, 115.346 – Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, no person shall be certified as a candidate for a municipal office, nor shall such person’s name appear on the ballot as a candidate for such office, who shall be in arrears for any unpaid city taxes or municipal user fees on the last day to file a declaration of candidacy for the office.
Last Wednesday, January 22, I was notified by the Sedalia City Clerk that in order to certify my election candidacy I must pay my 2012 and 2013 personal property taxes by 5pm Tuesday January 28th. Subsequently I paid those taxes in full on Monday January 28th.
Today, January 28th, I was contacted by the City Clerk of Sedalia, Arlene Silvey, and she advised me that she could not certify my candidacy for Mayor due to the payment of my personal property taxes after the election closing date of January 21st as required by Missouri Statute.
The City Clerk’s Office provided me a copy of this law and I acknowledged receipt of this requirement at the time I filed my candidacy for Mayor, December 20th, 2013. I am the only one to blame for this error and I’m embarrassed by my ignorance. The only explanation I will offer is since the State of Missouri has allowed for three year licensing of motor vehicles I’ve acquired a selfish habit of getting around to paying my property taxes just prior to the license renewal for my vehicle. I realize this demonstrates very poor judgment and I admit this choice of behavior does not align with the character that the people of Sedalia deserve in a candidate for Mayor.
I’m ashamed of my failure to meet my tax obligation in a timely manner. Not only did I fail to comply with Missouri election law but I also failed to distinguish the importance of my duty as a good citizen to meet my property tax obligation in a timely manner. This event is not an issue about money but purely a failure by choice not to pay the personal property tax as it was received from the County Collector.
Naturally, I‘m very disappointed by this blunder and I fully accept the consequences of my poor and unacceptable judgment. I wish to extend an apology to everyone this has affected. To the people of Sedalia, my family and friends and those that have supported me in my campaign – I’m deeply sorry for my error.